What is the best bit of your course?

I am in quite a small year group so it was easy to meet people and remember people's names! The lecturers get to know us more too.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

It's hard to find time to do a part-time job. We have classes pretty much all day every day and the timetables vary so its hard to plan time. I didn't get a job in first year as I wasn't able to balance it with the course, however I'm working for the university now which is flexible and gives me that extra cash when I need.

How do you cope with money?

Money's been quite tight but I've learnt you can still have fun and survive on a budget! I've received quite a bit of financial support and I'm working this year as a student ambassador which means I get paid to talk to people about my course - it's great! When I was worried about money last year, I got advice from the Student services department at uni which helped.

Where do you live?

I share a flat with three other students. We all do the same course which is good because we can help each other out with work. It really helps to have other people around you who can motivate you to study when you need. The downside is that I've had to pay gas, electricity, water, TV licence and internet bills which do mount up – I put money aside so that I know how much I've got for socialising.

Where will you be in ten years?

I'll be somewhere using my skills day to day to help people which will be really rewarding. I'll also show my Mum that university was a worthwhile investment!

What do you wish you had known when you started university?

That there is always someone you can talk to if you need help. I was pretty gutted to leave my mates at home, but I've met loads of new people here plus you can always speak to someone at the uni or student union if you need.

Top budgeting tip

Don't take on too much work. If you do dentistry, you may be better getting a job in the holidays rather than during term time. Or get a job at the union or university which is flexible and for people who understand your study commitments.

Rob's Summary

Tuition Fee loan £3290
Maintenance loan £3453
Maintenance grant £2906
Bursaries & further support £925
Savings £0
Termtime work £1120
Holiday work £0
Family and friends £0
Total Income £11694
Fees £3290
Insurance £40
Accommodation £2600
Utilities £562.50
Transport £670
Shopping £520
Socialising £1200
Eating £2080
Study £554
Total Expenditure £11516.50
Balance £177.50